|Furry’s music sounded ancient, like
a time warp back to the heydays of Beale Street, to the itinerant minstrel and medicine shows of the 1910s and 20s, even reaching further back to the late eighteen hundreds with stories about mythic black characters such as John Henry or Casey Jones. He also played ragtime-inspired
pieces and claimed the most famous of all Memphis music legends, W.C. Handy, had given him his first professional guitar and hired him for his band. Furry’s playing had a gracefulness and a delicate touch, which set him apart from most other blues artists in the region. He had a light sense of humor
and sometimes would make his guitar talk or sing the melody line with his bottleneck slide. The songs were a classic repository of the oral tradition of the South, a quick
glance into the vestiges of a disappearing world that had, through time and hardship, metamorphosed its humanity into a pantheon of mythic heroes and tales.
There were also a few religious songs,
but those were hymns of congeniality and hope not stories of brimstone and fire.
Furry’s music was a bridge between two eras, the work of a humble poet and storyteller of days gone by, with whom a modern whirlwind seemed to have accidentally caught up.
Some albums stand out as the finest and this is one, possibly because of the unusual circumstances in which it was recorded.Terry Manning literally took his studio to the Lewis home and Furry performed propped up in bed. For an old man this is the most comfortable position of all, and the results justify the unorthodox methods used.
Beautifully recorded and played, the music demonstrates why Furry Lewis has become a legend in his own time.
Mike Leadbitter, Editor, Blues Unlimited